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This Weekend, Skip Machismo Spectacle 'Hercules' and Head to Indies Galore; 'Her' and 'Lone Survivor' Go Wide

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! January 10, 2014 at 2:36PM

Academy ballots have been signed, sealed and delivered. What to see over the next few days to quell your anticipation for the Oscar nominations on Wednesday? Indies galore, two robust expansions and a big-budget bomb await your eyeballs in theaters this weekend.
'In Bloom'
'In Bloom'

Her Dir. Spike Jonze, USA | Warner Bros. | Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde | 92% Fresh | The New Yorker: "Sad, kooky, and daunting in equal measure, 'Her' is the right film at the right time." | Our review and TIFF coverage

Lone Survivor Dir. Peter Berg, USA | Universal | Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana | 73% Fresh | AV Club: "For all his directorial shortcomings, Berg has a knack for capturing men at work; his depiction of special-ops maneuvering... is as compelling as the chaotic violence he orchestrates later." | Our review, roundup and Q & A video and interview with Peter Berg

The Rocket Dir. Kim Mordaunt, Australia | Kino Lorber | Cast: Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Suthep Po-ngam | 100% Fresh | NYT: "What gives this movie its sting is that, despite Mr. Mordaunt’s insistent attempts at uplift, death hovers over this story at every single moment." | Our review

"Loves Her Gun"
SXSW "Loves Her Gun"

In Bloom Dir. Nana Ekvtimishvili, Georgia | Big World Pictures | Cast: Ana NijaradzeData ZakareishviliLika Babluani, Maiko Ninua | 90% Fresh | Variety: "An absorbing, intelligently assembled coming-of-ager that revolves around two pubescent gal-pals growing up in 1992, just after independence was restored." | Our Palm Springs write-up

Loves Her Gun Dir. Geoff Marslet, USA | Devolver Digital | Cast: Trieste Kelly Dunn, Francisco Barreiro | 67% Fresh | NYT: "Adopting an appealingly low-key approach to a high-stakes subject, this gently observant drama from Geoff Marslett takes its sweet time introducing the girl to the gun, but when it does, we're all but guaranteed to care." | Our SXSW interview with Trieste Kelly Dunn

The Legend of Hercules Dir. Renny Harlin, USA | Summit Entertainment | Cast: Gaia Weiss, Kellan Lutz, Roxanne McKee, Scott Adkins | 0% Fresh | "It's a mystery why Harlin and his writers decided to eschew all the juicy bits of Herculean lore for this dull idealized interpretation."

This article is related to: Reviews, Weekend Preview, Her, Lone Survivor, The Rocket, Loves Her Gun, In Bloom

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.